The Best Lunch The Accidental Locavore Knows

Because there haven't been any recipes posted lately, you've probably guessed that for the past couple of weeks the Accidental Locavore has done little or no cooking. Mostly because we were in France where there are a lot of people who can cook pretty well, and then when we were back home, there were charity events and birthday dinners. I finally hit the kitchen, made a batch of yogurt, have some bacon curing and am brining a brisket from Brykill Farm to make pastrami, so not entirely lazy, right?

One of the benefits of renting apartments in France is that you get to shop the marchés and actually buy some of the wonderful stuff they have there. We quickly latched onto a woman who had a wonderful selection of charcuterie. First up, a pâté forestier, a smooth duck or chicken liver pâté studded with mushrooms and to quote Frank, "made of deliciousness!" To go with, some sliced chorizo, a little local ham (made in the style of prosciutto) a wedge of Morbier, a chèvre rolled in herbes de Provence, and a wonderful St Félicien Fermier, a soft, luscious, local cow's milk cheese, picked up from the local fromagerie. Toss in a great baguette, some good mustard and a few cornichons, et voilà, a great lunch!

Trying to improve on our market choices, the next trip yielded a new pâté, a classic pâté de campagne, with a wonderful texture and great taste! We switched out the chorizo for some salami, got some tapenade, a bag of mixed olives and the Locavore added some local strawberries to make it look like a balanced meal.

I usually think strawberries are ho-hum, but the French ones have totally changed my mind and probably spoiled me for life. Interestingly, Celine (from the olive oil store) and I had gotten into a whole discussion about strawberries. She grew up next door to a strawberry farm and her childhood was spent picking strawberries (and eating most of them), so she was quick to sneer at the Spanish ones at the market. As stunningly perfect as they looked, I had gone right for the local ones, remembering how good they had been last spring when we were there and they didn't disappoint!